- Associated Press - Saturday, May 20, 2017

DOTHAN, Ala. (AP) - A Dothan police officer wanted to teach an alleged shoplifter a lesson, so she used her own money to buy food for the woman.

The Dothan Eagle (https://bit.ly/2rz5zYu) reported Friday that teen mom Sheena Davenport, 18, was arrested after being accused of stealing food from a south Alabama store, and officer Katrina Culbreath saw her in court.

“I overheard her talking to another lady about what she had done and the situations that led her to the point of stealing food. I sat there and listened to the entire conversation and it hit me: I have been there,” said Culbreath.

“No, I haven’t stolen, but I do know how hard it can get trying to feed your family. Both my husband and I work. We both have jobs in law enforcement. Plus, he owns his own business and things still get tight,” she said. “Her situation was worse. She had no income coming in.”

Culbreath said she was struck after hearing the woman’s story of being broke and needing to feed her 17-month-old daughter, and she wanted Davenport to know that someone understood how she felt.

So Culbreath met Davenport at a store and said she wanted to purchase groceries and diapers for her. The officer also told Davenport to contact her if she needed help instead of stealing.

Davenport was ordered to pay $700 in fines and restitution, but she said the officer taught her another lesson.

“She showed me that, yes, things are hard but she has helped me to understand there is a light at the end of the tunnel,” said Davenport. “She is also helping me find resources on free GED classes. I want to go back to school. I want to get my GED and maybe one day I can get my cosmetology license. That is a goal of mine.”


Information from: The Dothan Eagle, https://www.dothaneagle.com

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